Black Mirror is making a return to our screens much earlier than expected. Executive producer Charlie Brooker confirmed at the Television Film Critics' Association press tour (opens in new tab) that season 3 will premiere on Netflix in October. Originally, the show's first two seasons aired in the UK on Channel 4 before the streaming platform nabbed the US rights. Once everyone in the States promptly binged the hell out of it, a slew of American acting and filmmaking talent jumped onboard (opens in new tab) for an extended third season.
Brooker revealed that the first six episodes will drop on October 21, before the final six arrive some time in early 2017. Here's the titles and cast for that first half dozen episodes:
- “San Junipero” – starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis, directed by Owen Harris
- “Shut Up And Dance” – starring Jerome Flynn and Alex Lawther, directed by James Watkins
- “Nosedive” – starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve and James Norton, directed by Joe Wright
- “Men Against Fire” – starring Michael Kelly, Malachi Kirby and Madeline Brewer, directed by Jakob Verbruggen
- “Hated in the Nation” – starring Kelly MacDonald, directed by James Hawes
- “Playtest” – starring Wyatt Russell and Hannah John-Kamen, directed by Dan Trachtenberg.
Seasons 1 and 2 - and let's not forget the Christmas special - dealt with the repercussions of advancing technology in the near-future. They're a lot of fun, and most of them are also quite dark. However Brooker, along with co-creator and executive producer Annabel Jones, says the upcoming season won't be a "bleakfest" and will have a "variety of tone." Jones adds: “I think within this series of six, there are a few stories that are maybe much more playful. Challenging, but playful or sarcastic.”
That sounds like a fun change. One of the benefits of having more episodes is that there's room for variety. But don't worry - if you loved the deranged pieces of tech that people continually misused in the first two seasons, that's still very much a part of season 3. “Technology is never the villain in this show," says Brooker. "It's always about human failings and human messes, basically, that technology has helped facilitate."
The first six episodes of Black Mirror season 3 arrive on Netflix October 21, 2016.